11 Stunning Photos of Devastating Disasters
#3 really puts into perspective just how small we really are.
Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004)
Triggered by one of the worst earthquakes ever recorded, the scope of the tsunami made it the most devastating in history. So far flung was the impact that eight people died in South Africa five, thousand three hundred miles away from the epicenter.
Great Kanto Earthquake (1923)
Reaching 7.9 on the moment magnitude scale, the damage caused by this earthquake killed at least one hundred five thousand people and caused damage forty miles away from the epicenter. The biggest loss of life resulted from a fire tornado in downtown Tokyo.
Winter of Terror (1950-1951)
People expect avalanches to happen in the Alps. That's fine. But what shouldn't happen are six hundred forty-nine avalanches in three months. The Winter of Terror saw the deaths of over three hundred people and the complete devastation of several villages.
Tangshan Earthquake (1976)
The Great Tangshan Earthquake was one of the biggest earthquakes of the 20th century, made worse by several factors. First, Tangshan was believed to be at a low-risk for earthquakes, meaning construction in the region wasn't specialized. Two, it happened at four in the morning. Finally though there were some warning signs there were no foreshocks, so most people had no idea what was coming.
Yellow River Floods (1931)
For two years China suffered through a long period of drought. This was followed by melting snow and heavy rains. In the ensuing chaos of mass flooding many people starved or drowned. There were also reports of cannibalism. Water levels peaked at fifty-three feet. The highest death estimate is four million.
Cyclone Nargis (2008)
The worst storm to ever hit Myanmar and the second deadliest cyclone in recorded history. Unfortunately the full extent of the damage may never be known; the ruling junta was thought to under-report and prevent active reporting on casualties and missing persons.